Choose Your Chimps Carefully

Solitude gets a bad rap.

Yes, we all need people, but some require them more. Many successful folks have retreated into their own worlds and found happiness and success.

The famous children’s author Beatrix Potter is a prime example of lemonade made from sour lemons.

For her first five years, Beatrix was an only child. She was provided with a nurse, lunch at the nursery, and a walk in the afternoon. She didn’t go to school or share her parents’ lives. Her family rarely had visitors. On uncommon occasions, Beatrix visited her grandmother and a few other relatives.

Her one grand excursion was an annual family holiday in Scotland. To no one’s surprise, Beatrix developed acute awkwardness when connecting with peers and adults.

Eventually, her mother gave birth to her baby brother, who was promptly shipped to boarding school.

Beatrix developed a keen interest in nature, which was encouraged by her Governess.

Since most of her days were spent without human contact, Beatrix cultivated cherished relationships with animals.

According to Margaret Lane:

She made friends with rabbits, hedgehogs, mice, and minnows, as a prisoner in solitary confinement would befriend a mouse.

She began keeping a journal and was a gifted artist.

During the next ten years, she applied her solo talent to writing children’s books. These include such classics as The Tale of Peter Rabbit and The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck.

Despite her parents’ objections, she married and lived happily ever after on a farm in the countryside. Her creative energy was applied elsewhere, and her career as an author was finished.

Solitude did not destroy her life; it turbo-charged her creativity.

At this point, you might be saying: What the hell does Jemima Puddleduck have to do with investing? 

Allocating capital without all-encompassing hyper-kinetic noise might be just what the doctor ordered.

When the cacophony of market doom reaches ear-piercing levels, the best remedy is to go outside and take a walk—by Yourself.

Solitude tends to clarify things and place them into proper perspective.

Separating yourself from the misinformed opinions of well-meaning friends and neighbors is guaranteed investment alpha.

Voluntary solitary confinement during turbulent markets is your best hedge against financial disaster. This is assuming you have a basic long-term financial plan that you need to put a do-not-disturb sign on. It’s not an excuse to go full Ostrich Mode by burying your head into the sand.

Predators hooked to massive conflicts of interest perpetually crop-dust the financial landscape. Click-bait-motivated Charlatans seek their riches at your expense. Buyer beware is an understatement. Most market forecasters use a megaphone rather than a more appropriate mirror to examine their true motivations.

For some, the meaning of life revolves around interpersonal relationships. For others, that percentage of contact levels off at the lower end of the scale.

You don’t have to withdraw into a world populated by guinea pigs and minnows to build sustainable wealth.

Just be careful who you’re getting financial advice from.

In the words of Naval Ravikant:

“There’s a theory that I call the five chimps theory. In Zoology, you can predict the mood and behavior patterns of any chimp by which five chimps they hang out with the most. Choose your five chimps carefully. “

There’s nothing wrong with taking a solitary stroll into the forest until you find the right Chimps.

Remember this: Peter Rabbit won’t blow up your financial plan.

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